Buddhism, Politics and Political Thought in Myanmar is a new book by JCA author Matthew Walton, published by Cambridge University Press. It is reviewed for JCA by Ashley South.
In his review, South begins by observing: “Probably the most comprehensive introduction to Buddhist political thought in Myanmar, this book is likely to be a standard text for years to come.”
As its focus is Theravada Buddhism, it is about the majority population, leaving aside minorities. But given the rise of extremist Buddhist discourse, the focus is welcome, although South notes that the “book’s coverage of anti-Muslim violence is also relatively brief…”. Its chapters outline the foundations of a Moral Universe, explore Buddhist conceptions of human nature and moral politics, notions of freedom and modes of political action.